A woman’s right to choose: It’s the law of the land

November 2, 2017

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

I rarely write about abortion. There simply isn’t much new to say, and the various camps – pro-life and pro-choice – are firmly entrenched in their positions.

Yet, the federal courts continue to uphold a woman’s right to choose, and that’s as it should be.

State Rep. Mack Butler, R-Rainbow City, clearly overreacted to federal judge’s order this week that ruled two Alabama laws that limited abortion are unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson made the right decision. State legislatures all over the country, dominated by men, have passed a variety of different laws that severely limit abortion. Alabama has been no different.

The right for a woman to make choices concerning her own body cannot be outright repealed, so states put unreasonable restrictions on abortion that practically accomplishes the same goal.

In Alabama, Thompson said a law prohibiting the licensing or renewal of a license for an abortion clinic within 2,000 feet of any K-8 public school is unconstitutional. So, too, is a state law banning dilation and evacuation, the most common method of abortion used in the second trimester.

Look, nobody favors abortion. What the pro-choice movement favors is a woman’s right to make such a serious decision on her own, with advice from her physician and her god.

Men have no right, for any reason, to tell a woman what she can or cannot do when it concerns her health. There are valid reasons why a woman may choose to get an abortion, and rape or incest are only two of them.

Truly, though, it’s none of my business. Nor is it the Legislature’s.

Of course, the state will spend valuable resources appealing the decision, but similar rulings have been made in other jurisdictions as well, so that’ll simply be an expensive game with no positive outcome.

Had the law banning abortion clinics within 2,000 feet of schools remained on the books, two of the state’s five women’s clinics would have been forced to relocate or close. Also, schools could be constructed near a women’s clinic, forcing the same outcome, as reported by Alabama Political Reporter’s Brandon Moseley.

The reaction to Thompson’s ruling from Butler is outrageous. Butler called for the impeachment of Thompson.

Moseley reported Butler’s reaction on social media as well: “Congress not only has the authority per our US Constitution but also has the responsibility to impeach a federal judge for bad behavior. After the recent action of Federal Judge Myron Thompson regarding his continued slaughter of unborn children, this state lawmaker is calling for his immediate removal. We must take a stand against this federal overreach and stand up for the defenseless.”

How about standing up for women’s rights? Women are people, too.

Butler then went on to bizarrely compare Thompson’s ruling to the ancient – and wrong – Dred Scott decision that ruled blacks could not be U.S. citizens. On the abortion ruling, Butler said “These evil leftist judges have blood-stained hands.”

Thompson made absolutely the correct decision, since federal law is what it is.

People can disagree about whether abortion is appropriate; they cannot disagree on whether a woman’s right to choose is the law of the land.

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column every week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected]

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